Green Travel Guide to Germany
From its modern, vibrant cities to the natural beauty of its countryside, it's no suprise that Germany is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. Enjoy a fantastic range of options for city breaks and extended stays in the countryside where you can enjoy the nature parks, biospheres and national parks on foot or horseback, by bike or boat.
When it comes to sustainability, there's no doubt that Germany is the leading green light in Europe. The country's investment in renewables over the last couple of decades means that solar and wind energy meet nearly 30% of the country's electricity needs, whilst an impressive 1.4 million homes are generating at least some of their own wind and solar power. For one day in May 2016, the country's domestic electricity needs ran almost entirely on renewables – a staggering achievement and another success story for Germany's energiewende ('energy revolution'). By 2050, the country hopes to reduce emissions by 80%.
Germany's pioneering approach to sustainability reaches beyond the energy sector: the country's 16 national parks, 742 special protection areas, nature parks, biosphere reserves and conservation areas account for a whopping 48% of the land mass, making it one of the most protected countries in the world. Her varied landscapes, from remote wilderness to ancient forest and wildlife-rich coastline, are a playground for sustainable activities such as hiking, cycling, canoeing and skiing.
When it comes to finding somewhere green to stay, visitors here are spoilt for choice. From guesthouses hidden in the green folds of Germany's loveliest nature reserves, national parks and biospheres, to the numerous bio hotels where sustainability, organic food and respect for nature and the environment is a way of life, eco-friendly accommodation is always easy to find.
What Green Traveller's writers discovered in Germany
Stay, Eat, See & Do
Our pick of places across West Sweden
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Green = Places to stay; Blue = Places to eat; Yellow = Attractions; Purple = Activities
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Germany has 15 national parks, 16 biosphere reserves, 104 nature parks, and 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites
There are over 200,000 kilometres of marked trails, 300 ‘premium trails’ approved by the German Institute of Hiking and 86 routes certified by the German Ramblers’ Association
The North Sea island of Juist is aiming to become a carbon-neutral destination by 2030
There are more than 200 long-distance bike routes in Germany along more than 70,000 kilometres of cycle paths
In the Black Forest, the Konus Card provides visitors with free travel on all local public bus and train services
Germany has over 270 Michelin-starred restaurants, 23,000 organic farms and 13 wine-growing regions - Guten Appetit!
The Bavarian Forest is Germany’s oldest national park and home to the Grosser Arber - the highest (at 1,456 metres) and best known of the Bavarian Forest mountains